Earthquake

  • Earthquakes, Surviving the Mega-quake

    Earth quakes are by no means a California phenomena... in fact the most devastating  earthquake in US History actually took place in the Midwest.

    Why does Missouri have a boot? Because of a massive earthquake. The first of several massive earthquakes in 1811 and 1812 that actually reshaped Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, and Iowa.

    In an article in The Daily Bulletin, California Assemblyman Freddie Rodriguez reminds us that EarthQuake Preparedness Begins at home.

    The Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Management hearing on “California Earthquakes, Surviving the Mega-quake,” examined California’s readiness to survive and recover from an earthquake. The committee found that our state and local agencies have undertaken a robust, proactive and cooperative approach to prepare for earthquakes.

    Experts have stated, “The earthquake is inevitable. The only question is when.” A 7.5 or greater earthquake in the Los Angeles area is estimated to kill 2,000 people, injure 50,000 and cause another half-million to be displaced or homeless.

    Experts also estimate there is a 99 percent chance that California will suffer a 6.7 or larger magnitude earthquake in the next 30 years. A 6.7 earthquake is similar in size to the 1994 Northridge disaster that killed 57 people, injured more than 5,000 and caused property damage of more than $20 billion.

    During the hearing government agencies stated, “We are more prepared today than we were yesterday, and we will be better prepared tomorrow than we are today.” I agree that more is being done to prepare us for disaster.

     

    In 2014 the city of Los Angeles released a study, “Resilience by Design,” that set forth a plan to address the city’s earthquake vulnerabilities, including building retrofits and steps to secure water supply and communications infrastructure. I commend cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco that are proactively taking steps to increase the safety of their citizens and the survivability of their communities. Effective planning will facilitate recovery efforts and save lives.

    We must understand however, that a mega-quake could create a total collapse on the scale of Hurricane Katrina. The first three to seven days will be complete chaos, including fires, building collapses, utility outages, and overwhelmed first responders and hospitals.

    When this happens many will ask, “Where is government and why aren’t they doing more?” The answer unfortunately is that government cannot provide an immediate fix to an overwhelming disaster. While aid and recovery will take place, the sheer magnitude of the problem will require time to address.

    So what can you do to prepare? Experts recommend that you prepare to be self-sufficient for at least seven days. This requires advance planning and preparation. I suggest the following:

    1. Create disaster kits. Include items such as nonperishable foods, a gallon of water per person per day, first aid, radios, flashlights, spare batteries, medications,and supplies for babies, the disabled or the elderly. Kits can be purchased or you can make your own by searching online.

    2. Learn how to shut off utilities such as gas and water. If you rent, ask your landlord how to do this.

    3. Create a family disaster plan. Think about how your family will get emergency alerts and warnings. Plan how your family will get to safe locations or get in touch if your cellphone, Internet or landline isn’t working.

    4. Be a volunteer. Most cities have established Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs). Volunteer and be trained and ready to be part of the response following a disaster. Training will help you and your community to survive.

    5. Inspect your residence or business and retrofit structures that are at risk. There are programs and agencies that will help you. Experts have said, “Earthquakes don’t kill people, buildings do.” Don’t let your building kill you during an earthquake.

    When disaster strikes, we will need to rely on one another to get through it. I believe in the resiliency of California and the strength of its residents. An earthquake may be inevitable, but with the right preparation we can minimize the damage.

  • Shake Out, Don't Freak Out.

    Surviving an Earthquake is all about knowing what to do and being prepared for earthquakes.

    Prepare and Endure! Disaster, Survival, & Preparation!
    Think about preparedness; at home, at work, at school, even in your car.
    What should you do? Check your Emergency Plan and Evacuation Routes everywhere you normally spend time. Make sure you have an out of State contact for you, your friends and your family (long distance phone service is usually restored before local - and mobile services and internet will likely not work in a major disaster.)
    Of course, too, you should Check your Emergency Supplies:
    Count your stock... is it enough?
    Check your expiration dates (food, water, batteries)
    Keep cash on hand
    Don't let your gas tank get below half-full
    Think-Plan-Prepare-Survive!
    Survival Gear: Disaster, Emergency Preparedness, Camping & Survival Supply
    72 Hour Emergency Preparedness Supplies for Earthquake, Hurricane, Tornado, Twister, Nuclear Disasters, Wilderness Survival & More… C.E.R.T. & F.E.M.A.

    Today is the Great ShakeOut - at 10:15 AM, Drop, Cover, and Hold On during the global earthquake drill! - Shake Out, don't Freak Out.

    ShakeOut_Global_DontFreak_851x315

  • Get Prepared

    The Great ShakeOut is tomorrow at 10:15 AM. Register yourself or your organization to be counted in the ShakeOut Drill, get email updates, and more.

    ShakeOutWhat we do now, before the earthquake, will determine what our lives will be like after.

      • Do a "hazard hunt" for items that might fall in your home, school or working environment during earthquakes and secure them. Do an inspection for non-structural items (bookshelves, equipment, etc.) that might fall and cause possible injuries. Move or secure these items to provide a safer environment.
        • Plan for your family's specific needs (seniors, disabled, children, pets).
        • Teach all household members how to use a fire extinguisher.
      • If you are a business or organization, develop, review and/or exercise your continuity plan to identify and practice organizational responsibilities.
      • Organize or refresh your emergency supply kits. Be prepared for the possibility that you, your family or those in your school or work place may need to remain in place for 2-3 days.The-Great-Shake-Out
        • Store at least 1 gallon (4 liters) of water per person, per day
        • What other supplies might you need if transportation routes were blocked and you needed to remain in the same place for an extended length of time?
        • Organize and refresh your emergency equipment – fire extinguishers, first aid, flashlights, food, crank radios, satellite phones, generators, fuel; make sure everyone in your family or work place know the location and how to utilize supplies.
        • What else would you need to be on your own for up to 2 weeks?
        • What would you need if you are in your car or office when the earthquake strikes?
      • Consider whether earthquake insurance is right for you.
      • Create a game where everyone responds to a signal by practicing Drop Cover and Hold On. Talk to children about what to expect during and after an earthquake.
    • Contact your local Emergency Program to learn more about how to take care of yourself and your family when you are “on your own” after a disaster.
  • Don't Quake with Fear

    earthquake_disaster_topic_animationFear can make you freeze up when action is needed. Knowing what to do can help you not be afraid. Earthquakes are sudden, surprising, and can range from mildly amusing to devastatingly destructive and terrifying.

    Take action now, before an earthquake occurs so you are ready, knowledgeable, and safe.

    Remember, too, that earthquakes occur all over - it's not a West Coast phenomena... They happen in Kansas, Ohio, Texas, all over. Also, along with any disaster, you should consider the number one emergency - power outage. The Great ShakeOut is this Thursday... There's still time to plan and participate.

    There are many ways for individuals, businesses, schools, faith-based organizations, community groups, government agencies, and others to participate in the ShakeOut, to get prepared for earthquakes, and to share what you're doing with others so they can do the same.

    PLAN YOUR DRILL

    Today:

    • Register yourself or your organization to be counted in the ShakeOut Drill, get email updates, and more.

    ShakeOut_Global_GetReady_160x600Between now and your drill:

      • Consider what may happen when an earthquake shakes your area. Plan what you will do now to prepare, so that when it happens you will be able to protect yourself and then recover quickly. See this page for what to do if you have a disability or an activity limitation.
      • Download Audio and Video "Drill Broadcast" recordings that have been created to provide instructions during your drill (Video versions have text captions).
      • Talk to other people or organizations about what they have done, and encourage them to join you in getting more prepared. Displayposters around your community, classroom, or office space and provide flyers for further information.

    The day of your drill:

    Drop, Cover, and Hold On: Drop to the ground, take Cover under a table or desk, and Hold On to it as if a major earthquake were happening (stay down for at least 60 seconds). Practice now so you will immediately protect yourself during earthquakes!

    While still under the table, or wherever you are, look around and imagine what would happen in a major earthquake. What would fall on you or others? What would be damaged? What would life be like after? What will you do before the actual earthquake happens to reduce losses and quickly recover?

    Finally, practice what your community will do after the shaking stops.

    Text First. Talk Second. logo

    A great extra step is to practice how to communicate with family, friends, and co-workers. Texting first before making phone calls is highly recommended. Learn more from ShakeOut partner Safe America Foundation and their "Text First. Talk Second." campaign, including how to hold a texting drill.

  • Are you ready for an Earthquake?

    ShakeOutEarthquakes happen all over. It is not just a California Concern. Are you ready for an Earthquake?

    Everyone, everywhere, should know how to protect themselves in an earthquake. Even if earthquakes are rare where you live, they may happen where you or your family travel.

    Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills are an annual opportunity for people in homes, schools, and organizations to practice what to do during earthquakes, and to improve preparedness.The-Great-Shake-Out

    The Great ShakeOut is this Thursday, 10/15/15 at 10:15 AM local time - are you in?

    Join Millions from Japan to Italy, from California Utah and Nevada to the Yukon and Quebec...

    Plan your drill, prepare your earthquake supplies and be ready to ride the tide of earth upheaval.

    Global Totals U.S. Totals
    Oct. 15, 2015 Drills: Over 20.9 million Over 18.6 million
    Prepare! Prepare!
  • Dwayne Johnson: Drop Cover and Hold on in an Earthquake!

    Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson surprises fans at the at an early screening of San Andreas right before getting his hand and feet cemented in front of the historic TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood, CA.

    Are you Ready?

    Prepare and Endure! Disaster, Survival, & Preparation!
    Think about preparedness; at home, at work, at school, even in your car.
    What should you do? Check your Emergency Plan and Evacuation Routes everywhere you normally spend time. Make sure you have an out of State contact for you, your friends and your family (long distance phone service is usually restored before local - and mobile services and internet will likely not work in a major disaster.)
    Of course, too, you should Check your Emergency Supplies:
    Count your stock... is it enough?
    Check your expiration dates (food, water, batteries)
    Keep cash on hand
    Don't let your gas tank get below half-full
    Think-Plan-Prepare-Survive!
    Survival Gear: Disaster, Emergency Preparedness, Camping & Survival Supply
    72 Hour Emergency Preparedness Supplies for Earthquake, Hurricane, Tornado, Twister, Nuclear Disasters, Wilderness Survival & More… C.E.R.T. & F.E.M.A.
  • What was that? What that an EARTHQUAKE?

    Shake, Boom, Slam, Rumble, Roll, Thud. Was that an Earthquake?

    Earthquakes are not just a California Phenomenon. they occur in Ohio, Illinois, Hawaii, Oregon, Texas... everywhere.

    We are deep in Earthquake Country, in North Coastal San Diego County, so we are pretty used to earthquakes - both large and small... the problem is knowing if the little ones are really earthquakes or not. When a major shaker comes through, it hits the news, and we also hear a lot about "after-shocks" and to be ready in case they occur. Hello... what about warning before? Well, Earthquake prediction is a young science, still akin to an art in some minds, closer too a Ouija Board in others. But we DO know that there can be "fore-shocks" as well, so we can get some warning to batten down the hatches and hold on.

    Prepare! Prepare!

    Problem. Remember we explained we're on the coast in North San Diego County. This means we're on the edge of Camp Pendleton, one of the largest Military bases in the world at 125,000 acres.. Could that be shelling sounds from artillery practice aims at nearby San Clemente Island? Maybe a sonic boom? (Lucky us! We also have Marine Corps Air Station Miramar just South of us.) It's important to know when a tremor is geological, so how can one tell?

    USGSThere's an App for that!
    Ahhh... technology! No londer a need to scan the local radio broadcast, or hope for something on TV News"

    ShakeMap and ShakeCast are post-earthquake information tools for rapid situational awareness, using data from seismic monitoring systems to help emergency managers gauge an earthquake’s impact and plan response activities. These tools can be found at earthquake.usgs.gov.

    Preparedness is everything, and whether in Kent or Kalamazoo, you need to be prepared!

  • Signup for the Great ShakeOut

    Great Shakeout – October 16, 2014

    The-Great-Shake-OutSignup for the Great ShakeOut on October 16 and join millions of people who are practicing what to do during an earthquake.

    It's an opportunity for individuals, schools, businesses, organizations, and others to improve their level of preparedness.

    Learn about EarthQuake Preparedness:

  • Whole lotta Shakin' going on.

    The Great Shakeout is coming.. are you participating? Are you ready for an earthquake?

    Everyone, everywhere, should know how to protect themselves in an earthquake. Even if earthquakes are rare where you live, they may happen where you or your family travel.

    Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills are an annual opportunity for people in homes, schools, and organizations to practice what to do during earthquakes, and to improve preparedness.

    Current Registration Totals:
       Oct. 16, 2014 Drills: Over 17.8 million
       All 2014 Drills: Over 22.7 million

    Read more:The-Great-Shake-Out

    Are you ready to Bug Out or Bunker in? Are you ready to Bug Out or Bunker in?
  • Earthquake Safety Tips

    Following this morning's Major Shake in California.... some reminders about Earthquake Safety & Preparedness:

    One of the most frightening and destructive phenomena of nature is a severe earthquake and its terrible aftereffects. An earthquake is the sudden, rapid shaking of the earth, caused by the breaking and shifting of subterranean rock as it releases strain that has accumulated over a long time.

    For hundreds of millions of years, the forces of plate tectonics have shaped the earth, as the huge plates that form the earth’s surface slowly move over, under and past each other. Sometimes, the movement is gradual. At other times, the plates are locked together, unable to release accumulated energy. When the accumulated energy grows strong enough, the plates break free. If the earthquake occurs in a populated area, it may cause many deaths and injuries and extensive property damage.

    All 50 states and 5 U.S. territories are at some risk for earthquakes.  Earthquakes can happen at any time of the year.

    Before an Earthquake

    The following are things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your property in the event of an earthquake.

    • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
    • Fasten shelves securely to walls.
    • Place large or heavy objects on lower shelves.
    • Store breakable items such as bottled foods, glass, and china in low, closed cabinets with latches.
    • Fasten heavy items such as pictures and mirrors securely to walls and away from beds, couches and anywhere people sit.
    • Brace overhead light fixtures and top heavy objects.
    • Repair defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections. These are potential fire risks. Get appropriate professional help. Do not work with gas or electrical lines yourself.
    • Install flexible pipe fittings to avoid gas or water leaks. Flexible fittings are more resistant to breakage.
    • Secure your water heater, refrigerator, furnace and gas appliances by strapping them to the wall studs and bolting to the floor. If recommended by your gas company, have an automatic gas shut-off valve installed that is triggered by strong vibrations.
    • Repair any deep cracks in ceilings or foundations. Get expert advice if there are signs of structural defects.
    • Be sure the residence is firmly anchored to its foundation.
    • Store weed killers, pesticides, and flammable products securely in closed cabinets with latches and on bottom shelves.
    • Locate safe spots in each room under a sturdy table or against an inside wall. Reinforce this information by moving to these places during each drill.
    • Hold earthquake drills with your family members: Drop, cover and hold on.

    Familiarize yourself with these terms to help identify an earthquake hazard:

    Aftershock - An earthquake of similar or lesser intensity that follows the main earthquake.

    Earthquake - A sudden slipping or movement of a portion of the earth’s crust, accompanied and followed by a series of vibrations.

    Epicenter - The place on the earth’s surface directly above the point on the fault where the earthquake rupture began. Once fault slippage begins, it expands along the fault during the earthquake and can extend hundreds of miles before stopping.

    Fault - The fracture across which displacement has occurred during an earthquake. The slippage may range from less than an inch to more than 10 yards in a severe earthquake.

    Magnitude - The amount of energy released during an earthquake, which is computed from the amplitude of the seismic waves. A magnitude of 7.0 on the Richter Scale indicates an extremely strong earthquake. Each whole number on the scale represents an increase of about 30 times more energy released than the previous whole number represents. Therefore, an earthquake measuring 6.0 is about 30 times more powerful than one measuring 5.0.

    Seismic Waves - Vibrations that travel outward from the earthquake fault at speeds of several miles per second. Although fault slippage directly under a structure can cause considerable damage, the vibrations of seismic waves cause most of the destruction during earthquakes.

    During an Earthquake

    Drop, cover and Hold On. Minimize your movements to a few steps to a nearby safe place and if you are indoors, stay there until the shaking has stopped and you are sure exiting is safe.

    If Indoors

    • DROP to the ground; take COVER by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture; and HOLD ON until the shaking stops. If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.
    • Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.
    • Stay in bed if you are there when the earthquake strikes. Hold on and protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fixture that could fall. In that case, move to the nearest safe place.
    • Do not use a doorway except if you know it is a strongly supported, load-bearing doorway and it is close to you. Many inside doorways are lightly constructed and do not offer protection.
    • Stay inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to go outside. Do not exit a building during the shaking. Research has shown that most injuries occur when people inside buildings attempt to move to a different location inside the building or try to leave.
    • DO NOT use the elevators.
    • Be aware that the electricity may go out or the sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on.

    If Outdoors

    • Stay there.
    • Move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires.
    • Once in the open, stay there until the shaking stops. The greatest danger exists directly outside buildings, at exits and alongside exterior walls. Many of the 120 fatalities from the 1933 Long Beach earthquake occurred when people ran outside of buildings only to be killed by falling debris from collapsing walls. Ground movement during an earthquake is seldom the direct cause of death or injury. Most earthquake-related casualties result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects.

    If in a Moving Vehicle

    • Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires.
    • Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped. Avoid roads, bridges, or ramps that might have been damaged by the earthquake.

    If Trapped Under Debris

    • Do not light a match.
    • Do not move about or kick up dust.
    • Cover your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing.
    • Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can locate you. Use a whistle if one is available. Shout only as a last resort. Shouting can cause you to inhale dangerous amounts of dust.

    After an Earthquake

    • When the shaking stops, look around to make sure it is safe to move. Then exit the building.
    • Expect aftershocks. These secondary shockwaves are usually less violent than the main quake but can be strong enough to do additional damage to weakened structures and can occur in the first hours, days, weeks, or even months after the quake.
    • Help injured or trapped persons. Remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance such as infants, the elderly and people with access and functional needs. Give first aid where appropriate. Do not move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. Call for help.
    • Look for and extinguish small fires. Fire is the most common hazard after an earthquake.
    • Listen to a battery-operated radio or television for the latest emergency information.
    • Be aware of possible tsunamis if you live in coastal areas. These are also known as seismic sea waves (mistakenly called "tidal waves"). When local authorities issue a tsunami warning, assume that a series of dangerous waves is on the way. Stay away from the beach.
    • Use the telephone only for emergency calls.
    • Go to a designated public shelter if your home had been damaged and is no longer safe. Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (example: shelter 12345).
    • Stay away from damaged areas. Stay away unless your assistance has been specifically requested by police, fire, or relief organizations. Return home only when authorities say it is safe.
    • Be careful when driving after an earthquake and anticipate traffic light outages.
    • After it is determined that its’ safe to return, your safety should be your primary priority as you begin clean up and recovery.
    • Open cabinets cautiously. Beware of objects that can fall off shelves.
    • Find out how to keep food safe during and after and emergency by visiting: http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/emergency/index.html
    • Put on long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, sturdy shoes and work gloves to protect against injury from broken objects.
    • Clean up spilled medicines, bleaches, gasoline or other flammable liquids immediately. Leave the area if you smell gas or fumes from other chemicals.
    • Inspect the entire length of chimneys for damage. Unnoticed damage could lead to a fire.
    • Inspect utilities.
      • Check for gas leaks. If you smell gas or hear blowing or hissing noise, open a window and quickly leave the building. Turn off the gas at the outside main valve if you can and call the gas company from a neighbor's home. If you turn off the gas for any reason, it must be turned back on by a professional.
      • Look for electrical system damage. If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or if you smell hot insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. If you have to step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker, call an electrician first for advice.
      • Check for sewage and water lines damage. If you suspect sewage lines are damaged, avoid using the toilets and call a plumber. If water pipes are damaged, contact the water company and avoid using water from the tap. You can obtain safe water by melting ice cubes.

    FEMA Urges Caution Following California Earthquake

    WASHINGTON – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), through its Regional Office in Oakland, California, is monitoring the situation following the U.S. Geological Survey report of a 6.0 magnitude earthquake that occurred this morning six miles south southwest of Napa, California.  FEMA remains in close coordination with California officials, and its Regional Watch Center is at an enhanced watch to provide additional reporting and monitoring of the situation, including impacts of any additional aftershocks.

    FEMA deployed liaison officers to the state emergency operations center in California and to the California coastal region emergency operations center to help coordinate any requests for federal assistance.  FEMA also deployed a National Incident Management Assistance Team (IMAT West) to California to support response activities and ensure there are no unmet needs.

    “I urge residents and visitors to follow the direction of state, tribal and local officials,” FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate said. “Aftershocks can be strong enough to cause additional damage to weakened structures and can occur in the first hours, days, weeks or even months after the quake.”

    When disasters occur, the first responders are local emergency and public works personnel, volunteers, humanitarian organizations and numerous private interest groups who provide emergency assistance required to protect the public's health and safety and to meet immediate human needs.

    Are you ready to Bug Out or Bunker in? Are you ready to Bug Out or Bunker in?

    Earthquake Safety and Preparedness Tips

    • Expect aftershocks. These secondary shockwaves are usually less violent than the main quake but can be strong enough to do additional damage to weakened structures and can occur in the first hours, days, weeks or even months after the quake.
    • During an earthquake, drop, cover and hold on. Minimize movements to a few steps to a nearby safe place. If indoors, stay there until the shaking has stopped and exiting is safe.
    • If it is safe to do so, check on neighbors who may require assistance.
    • Use the telephone only for emergency calls. Cellular and land line phone systems may not be functioning properly. The use of text messages to contact family is the best option, when it is available.
    • Check for gas leaks. If you know how to turn the gas off, do so and report the leak to your local fire department and gas company.

    Related Websites

    Find additional information on how to plan and prepare for an earthquake and learn about available resources by visiting the following websites:

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